City leaders consider Rexburg’s future in comprehensive plan

Many of Rexburg's government leaders meet in city hall. Photo credit: Abigayl Finch.
Many of Rexburg's government leaders meet in city hall. Photo credit: Abigayl Finch.

The City of Rexburg published its comprehensive plan for community members to comment on earlier this month. The plan guides city leaders in making decisions related to growth over the next ten years.

Rexburg received funding from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health, which allowed them to create policies and goals to support the health and well-being of the Rexburg community. 

“A healthy population, with lower health costs, with fewer days lost to illness, means greater worker and student productivity, higher wages, higher educational attainment, and makes Rexburg a more competitive city,” the plan says.

Existing conditions

The plan examines how past and present growth impacted Rexburg in a variety of fields, including housing, education and the economy. Here are some of the highlights:

— Rexburg’s population grew 55% between 2010 and 2020. The city is projected to grow another 87% between now and 2048.

— The Housing and Transportation Index reveals that, overall, Rexburg residents pay more than 50% of their income in housing and transportation costs.

— Rexburg’s top employers in 2022 included BYU-Idaho, Madison Memorial Hospital, Madison School District #321, Melaleuca and Wal-Mart. 

— Rexburg parks cover 101 acres in the city.

— Madison County is ranked among the healthiest counties in Idaho based on health outcomes and risk factors. 

— 3,800 people worked and lived in Reburg in 2019. 4,200 left the city for work with 7,800 traveling from outside Rexburg to work in town. 

— Per-pupil spending among school districts in Rexburg was $1,255 below the estimated amount needed to support students in achieving average U.S. test scores.

Desired conditions

The implementation of the plan uses four areas to cover all goals and projects to improve city life over the next few years. 

“How we serve our community”

— Encourage educational institutions and community organizations to provide a broad and diverse set of programs within the community such as programs for special-needs students and life-skills classes. 

— Meet quarterly with Madison School Districts and BYU-I to analyze potential impacts of anticipated rezonings and development projects.

— Increase trail accessibility by offering more parking options and connectivity in recreational areas.

— Create and promote river access points and water sports recreation.

— Identify and secure funding for a regional community recreation center and other year-round recreation facilities. 

— Establish a team, including representatives from BYU-I and other community groups, to plan and execute joint communication efforts and community-building events, bringing together the student and non-student communities.

“How we grow our community”

— Break up the width of roadways, soften traffic noise, and lessen and control the impact of traffic volume through landscaped medians.

— Emphasize pedestrian/bike routes throughout the city with enhanced options in downtown Rexburg.

— Implement landscaping, design, amenities and technology to make downtown more interactive and attractive for residents to visit and host events. 

— Partner with developers and business owners to enhance the downtown area with additional shops, restaurants, public art, and community amenities.

“How we strengthen our economy”

— Expand vocational training opportunities through partnerships with BYU-I, regional colleges and other large employers.

— Identify and address barriers to entertainment and restaurant opportunities to recapture lost sales opportunities and draw in traffic to regional national parks.

— Actively pursue businesses that can build on regional recreation opportunities such as sporting goods store(s) and bicycle shop(s). 

— Expand partnerships with BYU-I and the regional colleges to grow opportunities for business entrepreneurship and business incubation.

“How we move goods and people”

— Assess feasibility of and locations for electric vehicle charging stations.

— Eliminate physical and social barriers to pedestrian and cyclist access to various places throughout the city. 

— Incentivize non-motorized travel, particularly in the downtown area and around the BYU-I Campus.

To read the public draft of the comprehensive plan, visit the city of Rexburg’s website.